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Reviewed May 2, 2018

After being left with no room at the hotel we originally booked, Big Island Retreat was one of the few hotels I called for help with this situation. The lady on the phone -Angelina- was very concern about my family of four with no place to sleep. She told me they were sold out since their hotel is very small and it was a long weekend, this was around 9:00 pm. After 10 minutes, she call me back and offered me a room that wasn't finished and could be ok for us to expending the night. With no place to go, we accepted and couldn't be happier, this was a blessing in disguise. First, it is a rarity to find people who cares about totally strangers, and Big Island Retreat Staff went away and beyond on providing us a place to sleep. The room was perfect, they added 2 small beds for our kids. It was cozy, extremely clean and very well decorated, and we ended up at staying for the whole vacation. Gigi, was amazing. Our kids just adore her. The hotel grounds are very well kept and we got to see one of the big rooms, beautiful. The outdoor kitchen was nice. The beach nearby is very nice for swimming and snorkeling. Big Island Retreat provided us with chairs, umbrellas, cooler, even snorkeling gear. No AC, no problem. The room was very airy even on the first floor, and we woke up with the sound of the birds and the ocean, very pleasant. Looking forward for our next stay at this wonderful place.

  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank 2005_4_For_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2018

We have had many wonderful stays around the planet, but we must say that our stay here was a unique experience that was so special that we are already planning our return. The key ingredient to the experience was Gigi, a most incredible person. She sets the tone for the entire facility. Soft and quiet, but a great communicator. Full of information, but not telling you what to do AND always wanting to know what else she can do for you. The guests are from all over the planet, but we all seem to be of the same focus! How does that happen? Quiet, respectful, delightful to engage with, but doing our own thing too.
Our Seaside View room was immaculate and perfectly furnished. The view from our Lanai was just what we wanted. The kitchenette was well stocked - full fridge, microwave, coffee maker. A true unique experience was the shared covered but outdoor kitchen and the inside sitting space amidst a Zen garden! The outdoor (covered) kitchen was perfectly stocked with every convenience - gas grill, open grill stove - no oven (but that was o.k.) The refrigerator had beer, wine and all the condiments you would need. Spices and other dry goods were on shelves. All the utensils, cookware easily available. Many of these left by previous residents (we left some too!) We grilled Ono, Mongchong obtained from the KTA market 4 minutes away. If you want a laid back, mellow experience across the street from one of the best snorkeling places on the island, this is the place for you!

Room Tip: Seaside View room!
  • Stayed: April 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank IPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2018 via mobile

This was my surprise for my 50th birthday for my fiance. It was amazing! The room was clean, airy and beautifully decorated. The property was well-kept. We used our kitchenette for breakfast in the morning and the community kitchen for dinner and the cut up fruit, it worked really well for us. The best part was Gigi, the manager! She was helpful, friendly and constantly checking in to make sure everything was okay. Also gave us some great recommendations on local restaurants. If you are looking for a traditional hotel with a swimming pool and room service, this is not it but personally I think it's better!!

Stayed: April 2018, traveled as a couple
Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2018

This is an unusual place. It's not a bed and breakfast because -- as one of the handwritten signs in the common room indicated -- you have to make both yourself! This place is more of a short-term rental with shared facilities to cook your own meals. Or not. You could certainly just go out to eat, although you will probably have to drive. I say 'probably' because it's possible to walk 20 minutes to a shopping mall that has a few restaurants. But then you might have to walk back to the accommodations in the dark on what is a busy road. Downtown Kailua-Kona is a short drive in the other direction, and there are a wealth of places to eat there.

I stayed in the Pineapple Room, which has a separate covered lanai. It has no view to speak of, though, and I kept the blinds down most of the time for privacy. The room itself is fine, but the bathroom is very small, and it doesn't have a sink - you have to use the one in the kitchenette. Not a deal breaker, just a tad inconvenient.

Even in January, the room got hot around 3 or 4 pm. I had to turn on both the ceiling and floor fan. But things do cool down, and by evening, the temperature was absolutely fine. The bed was very comfortable, so apart from some lingering jet-lag, I slept very well.

The accommodations are in a residential neighborhood, so you have to take what comes with living in those surroundings. This included, one night, the neighbors having a loud screaming argument while their dog barked. Now, you can either take that as 'authentic' or be made somewhat uneasy by it; but in any case, it didn't go on for too long and quiet soon returned.

Those are the slightly negative aspects of staying at BIR. But the positives do outweigh them. The biggest positive is that BIR is like very few other places to stay on the island. There is a laid-back and friendly vibe to the whole place. The bedrooms are nicely decorated. It's right across the road from a good snorkeling and surfing beach (it does get crowded, so go early or later in the day). One day I walked north along the road and in about 15 minutes arrived at a very nice white-sand beach that looked great for boogie boarding. There are signed beach access roads along the way for pedestrians, which I didn't explore, but I imagine they would lead you to some smaller and very quiet beaches. And if you want more of a restaurant and nightlife scene, Kailua-Kona is a short drive away.

I would stay here again for the laid-back, private, mostly quiet nature of the accommodations, its easy access to beaches, and proximity to Kailua-Kona.

  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank SkyeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2018

We were a group of four adults who found out about Big Island Retreat through a Trip Advisor Review. We only stayed for 2 days and wished we had planned for extra days here. Big Island Retreat is close enough to Kona to access the restaurants and other activities but has a special charm of feeling like you are at a peaceful retreat. We had the top floor apartment which was very spacious with incredible views of the ocean. How cool to fall asleep to the sound of the ocean each night! There was a very well equipped kitchen and everything in the apartment was well maintained and very clean. In keeping with the retreat atmosphere, there are quiet hours and with the open concept of the building it is important to respect this. This is not the location for you if you like to party after 9:00 pm when on holiday. But if you are in sync with the island hours of early to bed and early to rise this is a spectacular place to stay. Added bonus is that there is a beach across the road and grocery store for provision a short drive up the road. And the best part of all, is that your host, Gigi will provide you with all the information and guidance that a traveller in a new place yearns for. She is as special as all the other reviewers have described. 2 days was amazing but if you have more time think about making this the base for exploring all the e special places on the Big Island. There are various styles of accommodation available so check out the website.

  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank heysheila2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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